Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What Happened Over There?

Did a cat scratch your neck?
Did a bird come and peck?
Did a horse give a kick?
Did a cow give a lick?
Did you get in a fight?
Did a dog give a bite?

What happened over there?

Did a yak make you trip?
Did a squirrel give a nip?

And so forth and so on.

This is how I had to get Julian into the bathtub last night. That was after he laid behind his bed refusing to get out. After about a half hour of that routine, I sat right down with him and somehow got him to get up. He came to the bathroom with me but once there, did the ole cat about to be dipped into the tub with all extremities gripping the doorjamb tightly routine. You know the one.

As I struggled to get him into the bathtub, I noticed a little mark on his neck and said “what happened over there?” I then made up the song above sung all wangly jangly which got Julian all giddy and laughing. I was able to undress him as I sang (with Tali shouting out her own lines), get him into the tub and wash him up – all before he remembered this was what he was rebelling against.

I can’t promise such creativity every night, but it’s always good when it works out that way. Where is Scissors while all of this occurs? Probably watching his Rangers take a drumming by the Penguins. So it wasn't a perfect evening, but close enough.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Gather round children because today’s spin is one of a kind outstanding, if I do say so myself, and I do. Today we are spinning Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Sharon and the Dap-Kings are as soulful and funkified as the day is long and that’s without checking the clock once. According to their Wikipedia blurb, “Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are widely considered to be at the forefront of a revivalist movement that aims to recapture the feeling of soul and funk music as it was at its height in the late 1960’s to mid 1970’s.” The sound is authentic as they record on analog equipment using vintage instruments. In my opinion they do that with the added caveat of sounding brand new and fresh at the same time.

According to NPR, The Dap-Kings contributed to more than half of Amy Winehouse's tracks on her breakthrough album Back to Black, and has enjoyed a breakthrough of its own with this year's 100 Days, 100 Nights. They also toured as backing band in the US for Amy Winehouse who you may recall won a grammy for her record this past year. Where is the justice? If there were, Sharon Jones would have been nominated and accepting instead. But she weighs more than 95 pounds, is not visibly tattooed up and down her body and hasn’t been seen on PageSix running half naked through the London night. Good riddance to old rubbish I say and make way for Sharon Jones. End of rant.

Without further adieu, Sharon performing live in Paris with the Dap-Kings Let Them Knock:

Listen to on: NPR segment


Daptone Records

Posting early as we have company for the weekend so hope you enjoy yours and Chag Sameach.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Chain emails, that is. The latest one I received promised some sort of never ending prosperity compliments of the Dalai Lama if I forwarded it on to the number coincidentally corresponding to my favorite number (which I have now changed to zero for such emails). A friend forwarded it with the tag line "this is interesting." STOP!!! It's not interesting. It's ridiculous and an insult to our intelligence, but yet I did go through it just to make sure.

For instance, it gives a listing of animals. I'm doing this by memory but they were a horse, rat, tiger, sheep and something else furry. You were to order them from most to least favorite. Now who puts a rat at the top of their list? Michael Jackson? So when you do get to the end, you find out that these are listed in the order of what is important to you in life. The vaunted horse is family, the rat is work or money as if we are all good and humble humans, everything will stack up as it should family first/work last. Couldn't they have made the rat symbolic for family to shake things up? What? My family is last?! Well, they do demand so much of me...

Of course unbeknownst to you, they had a listing of words which you had to freely associate with another. Think fast - coffee! Strong, hot, abstaining, steamy...expensive. Coffee stood for sex. Ooh, that was a toughie. Why couldn't the word have been fish? Cause that wouldn't be fun. Nobody wants to have a cold, slimy, scaley sex life. At least, I don't think so; well perhaps a goldfish.

Quick, think of your favorite number and multiply it by number of pets you have, divide it by your number of marriages and subtract the number of children you've had. Then forward this post to that number of people and never email me again!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Day in the Life

I love my children, more than the air that I breathe I tell them. Tali is then quick to point out, "but without the air you breathe, you wouldn't be here." To which I reply "exactly!" and she just raises her eyebrows.

Some days, at the end of the day, I just feel spent beyond my emotional budget. Raising children was never guaranteed to be a cakewalk. In fact, the only thing I'm certain of in child rearing is that there are no guarantees.

But parenting a child with special needs just wipes me out some days. Many days. I've never written that, but you may have guessed that life isn't all just the fun parts that I've shared. I feel sometimes as if I am a SWAT team member rather than a parent. I recall myself saying today "Julian put down the scissors. Those are very sharp. Juli - no, don't run with them!" I then had to push a table against the wall to corner him and thus retrieve the scissors.

Coming home from visiting Grandpa in the nursing home, Scissors had to carry him into the house like a sack of potatoes as he kicked and screamed not wanting to get out of the car. "Sure Julian, I'll just sit here in the car until you've menaced me enough and then we'll go inside. Or perhaps, I'll leave you in it and you'll knock it into neutral and run it through the garage. No problem," I thought. So ruling out those options as possible ways to cap off the day, I called in Scissors to get him out of the car, hence the kicking and screaming.

The child exhausts himself along with us. It breaks my heart sometimes that life should be so difficult for him. Sometimes it drains every ounce of patience left in my body until I find myself yelling at him.

The other night he put on his pajamas - an every day task for many six year olds, but still difficult for Julian. He did great but the top was uncomfortably backwards and I saw him fidgeting with it. I said, "Oops, looks like your top is backwards. Here, I'll show you a way to fix it without having to take it off," because with Julian it's all or nothing at all.

He said "Oops -mistake," to which I replied "that's okay, I do that all the time. That's why I know how to fix it. I've done that at least a million times!"

He said in an incredulous tone "you make mistakes?"

In that one moment, I just felt what it must feel like for Julian. Every thing is easy for the rest of the world, but difficult for him. I could have imagined this, but he seemed a bit buoyed by my answer, "all the time, that's how I learn to do things."

I also love my kids more than there are grains of sand on the beach and stars in the sky. They seem satisfied with that answer. I'll save my complaints about his sleep problems for another day; I hear him walking around.


Saturday, April 19, 2008


Ive been up to my elbows in cleaning for Passover. The first seder is tonight so firstly a Happy Passover to all who may partake.

Now can't leave without a little music for the weekend. I think Gillian Welch would be fine company. Gillian is a singer songwriter originally from NYC, raised in LA and settled in Nashville. Her music is alternately described as haunting and soothing. I find a little of both in there.

She records mostly with her musical partner, David Rawlings, whom she met back in 1992. She only has four albums out, but her songs have been recorded by a pretty pedigreed crowd of musicians, such as Joan Baez, Jimmy Buffet and Trisha Yearwood to name but a few. I happen to love her "Look at Miss Ohio" song which you can see her performing on her MySpace. Below is a video of her and David Rawlings singing "Time the Revelator;" very spare, very lovely.


HerSpace: Gillian

Well, time to run. Have a wonderful Passover and weekend. Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

And verily we read on...

Tali was doing a Bermuda Triangle Project for school and seeing that she only had Internet sources for her paper, I deemed a trip to the library beneficial. As she looked for her books, I grabbed a few for Julian and general reading for us all. One of which was Irish Fairy Tales which was staring at me from a cart.

Sometimes it's good to judge a book by its cover as had I cracked it, I may have deemed it too arduous for Julian's nighttime read and put it back on the shelf. There are about ten fairy tales in all - some about thirty or forty pages long which can make it a bit, well - lengthy. But mostly it was the flowery prose that I thought might go over his head as I started off:

"Finnian, the Abbot of Moville, went southwards and eastwards in great haste. News had come to him in Donegal that there were yet people in his own province who believed in gods that he did not approve of, and the gods that we do not approve of are treated scurvily, even by saintly men."

Okay, a little flowery, but let's read on. As the prose progressed, the kids got more entrenched so that by the time we got up to this passage describing Finnian's decision to go on a hunger strike, the kids were tickled to laughter (urged on by my dramatic reading of the prose):

"He fasted on the gentleman, and he did so to such purpose that he was admitted to the house; for to an hospitable heart the idea that a stranger may expire on your doorstep from sheer famine cannot be tolerated."

Many things can be tolerated, but expiring on my doorstep is something that I just won't stand for!

So dear readers as we go verily on our way towards Monday, remember to judge a book by its cover and never let somebody fast on your doorstep.

As a sidenote, all that flowery prose has Julian's vocabulary wheels a turning. He was rhyming away at the table today and comes up with kitchen. I think to myself, "that's a hard one..." too soon before he called out "bitchin!" I must admit that I did think "good one" before I disciplined him as I unsuccessfully fought down laughter.

Stay tuned for our next Fireside Theatre installment in which I choose a family movie for us to watch.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I'm sitting at my desk in work the other day and the phone rings.
"G" says I.
"Start wearing purple, wearing purple..." sings a voice in a bad Ukrainian accent, yet somehow familiar.
"Uh, green is sort of my color" I counter.

"Gogol Bordello - have you heard of them?" asks my brother Peter on the other end.
"Sounds familiar - do tell." I encourage him on.

And tell he does - of Ukrainians, Russians, Israelis - gypsy music, punk, ska?

"I'll check em out." I promise. And now I'm glad that I did. One thing that I've read is that if you get the chance to see them live, do so! Now!

So here go the links:

The Band's site: Gogol

NPR: for details and concert footage.

MySpace: for, well some more of their music.

And now some visuals:

Maybe I should rethink the whole green thing.

Have a great weekend, Shabbat Shalom and a general plentiful of all things pleasing.

from the DJ formerly known as Lampsha (which sounds rather at home with the Gogol Bordello).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Was it something I said?

The germ attack just continues. Poor Tali had gone to bed last night after complaining of dizziness and not feeling so good only to be awoken to a not so pleasant stomach virus. Scissors being the good Daddy that he is and not wanting her to feel lonely in her misery, joined her around 4:00 am with the same bug. I stayed home yet again today to just keep redoing laundry and tend to the sick. That, and I catnapped most of the morning as I was up quite a bit with the sick crew throughout the night.

Thankfully, the worst of it was over by 6:00 am for Tali - Scissors, not so much. I went in to check on him this morning and Louie was lying up on the bed with him. He growled at me! Louie, that is; Scissors was too sick to growl. Louie really takes protecting his Daddy quite seriously. Although he made up for it by abandoning him this evening to come lay by my feet (again Louie, not Scissors).

So, on a humorous note - Tali's school did a course of study and presentations on former presidents a month or two back. Tali's president was William Howard Taft. The children wrote stump speeches themselves and then had to dress up as the president and deliver them. What follows is Tali's turn as William Howard Taft. My camera was completely out of focus, but you'll get the idea. The children of the school voted in three categories and ole "Big Bill" won as president with the best personality. I suspect it had something to do with the moustache.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ambivalence rears its ugly head...

I'm not sure what I'm doing of late. I have sat down to write a post, well two times anyway, and stared at the page. I have to say that I'm feeling a bit self-indulgent about blogging. Maybe cynical. That and my computer connection was screwed up for a couple of days, perhaps that's part of the cynicism. I started out blogging for a creative outlet and some days it's all I can do to think of what to actually post. It seemed at some point I actually wrote something. With being sick, I didn't feel like putting on the computer. Now I find that it just zaps too much of my time. I don't know.

I'd let you in on a little of my thought process, but my mind is racing so that I can't always keep up. I find myself getting into worry mode as the school year approaches the downhill slope. What will the summer bring? What services do we need to address on Julian's IEP? How is he progressing? Time for a new evaluation? Same doctor or new doctor? Are we doing enough? How is Tali holding up to the rigors of school? Will I lose my job? Will I keep my job? And so forth and so on.

So hey, glad you stopped by? The good news is - I'm not one to wallow.

This cart is parked on the campus of Tali's music school. There is a website that has everyday objects as faces that I must find to send it to.

Posted by Picasa

I don't mean to imply that life is bad - it's not. Life is beautiful. And what is life without worry? Well, I think that's actually checkout time. I signed up for the late checkout, thank you very much.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


...and I am that pipe smoking rabbit.

Okay, that would certainly explain my absence of late in a simple nutshell.

We had a death in Scissor's family - his only aunt which really has us all shaken up. She passed away on the Fast of Esther, the day before Purim and was buried on Purim. There's not much I can say right here without feeling that I am diminishing the effect on our family. She was a Holocaust survivor, along with my mother-in-law. They were the only survivors from their immediate family. If they talked once a day, they talked seven times a day. You may recall her being the topic of the great Salami Trafficking Post HERE. She was a dear soul, as sweet and gentle as the day is long and we'll miss her terribly.

On the heels of that, I seem to have contracted a nasty strain of upper respiratory flu which had me sidelined until pretty much today. The same flu that hospitalized my MIL who is now home and resting comfortably, thank G-d.

And where last we left off in this story, Julian had Scarlet Fever and when we sent him back to school, they called for us to pick him up. It seems the teacher convinced him that a runny nose doth a sick child make and so each day, he'd say, "I have Scarlet Fever, I can't go to school." cough cough cough end of sentence. I stopped explaining absence of fever, three days of antibiotics to a six year old and just let him watch Spongebob.

Throw in a sore throat and general feelings of malaise for Tali and Scissors and the pox upon our household was complete. I swear I called HBO to let them know that I could fill in for Paul Giamatti as the infirm John Adams. They have not gotten back to me, but I'm certain that I could still pull it off and be a credit to the role.

And that, my friends brings me coughing back to this little blog. I've missed visiting, but will get back little by little. I mostly still feel weak and out of sorts, so it will take time. I'm going back to work tomorrow, or April Fools Day. There must be a message in that alone, but I'm feeling too lowly to delve into that one.

So Rabbit Rabbit and good luck in April. I'd settle for just luck - not bad certainly, but I don't even want to push it by asking for good. Just a little luck, that's all.

Happy April friends. It's been a while.

Above image via